Cortisol et stress

Le stress est une réaction de l’organisme pour se défendre contre les agressions. Il peut donc être à la fois physique et psychologique. Sa fonction est de pouvoir augmenter notre capacité à se confronter à une situation difficile. Pour se défendre, nous devons mobiliser une grande quantité d’énergie afin de pouvoir lutter ou fuir. Le stress est donc un ensemble de messages nerveux et hormonaux diffusés à travers le corps pour répondre à une situation.

Comment ça marche le stress ?

Nous retrouvons trois phases de stress. La réaction d’alarme est une stimulation aux effets instantanés (augmentation du rythme cardiaque, respiratoire et de la pression artérielle). On retrouve ici une importante libération d’adrénaline et de noradrénaline.Vient ensuite la phase de résistance, qui permet de maintenir l’état de vigilance aiguë de l’organisme et de continuer à faire face à la situation stressante. C’est à ce moment là que de très nombreuses hormones entrent en jeu, dont le cortisol. C’est une hormone produite par les cortico-surrénales, deux glandes rattachées en haut des reins. Son principal rôle est de maintenir l’équilibre en sucre dans le sang, c’est pourquoi il est notamment responsable des prises de poids liées au stress. Enfin, vient la phase d’épuisement.

Lors de la phase d’épuisement, les capacités énergétiques de l’organisme s’épuisent et les cellules ne sont plus nourries correctement. On y observe une dérégulation des systèmes neuronaux et endocriniens. C’est souvent à ce moment-là que peuvent survenir des pathologies.

Le stress, cool ou pas ?

Contrairement à ce que l’on pourrait croire, le stress n’est donc pas une mauvaise chose en soi. C’est une réaction d’adaptation qui nous a permis et nous permet encore de survivre. Toutefois, notre corps ne fait pas la différence entre une situation véritablement dangereuse et une situation que nous percevons comme telle. Notre esprit peut interpréter qu’un examen est une situation dangereuse autant que celle d’être coursé.e par un lion. Le corps mettra alors en place les différentes phases de stress. Nous nous retrouvons alors en état de vigilance extrême, tendu.e, prêt.e à prendre la fuite. Autrement dit, absolument pas prêt.e à passer un examen !

Un stress répété, voire constant peut être responsable de pathologies physiques importantes. Il n’est pas sans lien avec un état psychologique détérioré. Le stress a évidemment un lien très fort avec toutes les formes d’anxiété. Un stress trop important peut également conduire à des formes de dépression à travers l’épuisement qu’il induit chez l’individu.


〇 Retrouvez l’article du blog MobiliPsy sur la psychopathologie
〇 Retrouvez l’article du blog Mobilipsy sur l’écoanxiété
〇Retrouvez l’ebook MobiliPsy qui présente l’ensemble des concepts de base de la psychologie interculturelle

〇Consultez l’article scientifique sur le rôle du cortisol dans le burnout, la dépression et le syndrome d’adaptation

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